I am jettisoning all irony for this particular post. Of course, when one does as much, he runs the risk of being trite.
Bad stuff happens in life, as we all know and have experienced. But when it does, it makes you realize that when everything seems overwhelming -- tasks, responsibilities, whatever -- the truly important components of life, are actually quite small and wholly manageable and essential; family, friends, health, a little money. And -- in a big way -- art and music.
I truly believe in the healing, restorative, and even redemptive power of music. I, like many others, have at isolated times felt like it was one of the few things that make life worth living. I felt this clearly last night, when my wife and I went to go see Aretha Franklin on what was surely a great night for even the Queen of Soul. She went to church and brought the entire 3500-4000 of us with her as the congregation. Let it only be said that this particular weekend I really, really needed even just a mediocre night from Aretha. Just give me "Ain't No Way," please, Ms. Franklin. She gave us way more.
I also played an afternoon family-friendly benefit, "For Amie," at the Middle East Downstairs. It was put on by Brad Searles for his wife. Brad is the author of the excellent Bradley's Almanac blog. My kids were there, Drew O'Dougherty's kids were there, and Kristen Hersh's kids were there. Other friends came with their kids. It was beautiful.
I have some other shows coming up. The invitation-only guestlist is pretty much past capacity for the Exile on Main Street reading and performance 10/27 at the House of Blues Foundation Room. If you are on the list and can not attend, please be sure to let me know. If you really, really want to go and have not yet emailed me, please let me know and I will do what I can do to get you in.
Exile on Main St. is an essential rock & roll record, a holy work of art. It is about getting through it all, "wading through the waste stormy winter/And there's not a friend to help you through." Let thee be healed. By the way, as I write, it is snowing. In Oct-fucking-ober.
Let me tell you something else: As of this writing, tickets are still amazingly available for the Session Americana show 10/20 at the Brattle Theater in Harvard Sq. I will play a solo set (that ALONE should fill Madison Sq. Garden) and then sit in with S.A., who also alone should fill, let's say, Wembley. Together, there is probably no venue that should be able to accommodate the demand. So, here we have the Brattle Theater, one of the nation's treasures, in Harvard Sq., that is also a national treasure, despite it's battle against being an outdoor mall. And this, due to no small contribution from the Brattle and the sadly diminishing number of independent places like it. And you live here in Boston and have not yet bought a ticket? Come here, lemme slap you.
Dang, there goes all I said at the top about irony. Well, I made it to this paragraph. I am who I am.
Session Americana are truly one of Boston's great music experiences. I hope you have enjoyed them in the past and I hope you'll be on hand Tuesday, 10/20.
Get ye healed, and if there's one out there, may the Good Lord (be it He, She, We, It, or all or none of the above) shine a light on you.
From the other show that we read and performed from Exile, April 2005:
Shine a Light mp3
The whole show is available at Billjanovitz.com